We’re running a weekly recap of The Mandalorian on Disney+ for season two. There are spoilers, duh! You’ve been warned.
No kids, we are not there yet. I know, I know. I’m excited to see Ahsoka Tano too, BUT FIRST, we need to stop on the planet Nevarro in this week’s episode, “The Siege.” Why? Well in case you haven’t noticed, the Razor Crest is still hanging on by a thread after a giant space spider crushed it two episodes ago. It’s in desperate need of a proper repair.
But more importantly, Mando needs some R&R with two of his closest friends from season one: Cara Dune and Carl Weathers.
It turns out, Nevarro is a pretty cool place now, ever since Dune and Weathers spruced it up. They have a school now, for one thing, and it doubles as a daycare too! Whenever you need a sitter for Baby Yoda, you just plop him in one of the desks and let the teacher handle the rest.
Not only that, but creepy Werner Herzog hasn’t been seen for like ten episodes now. He and the rest of his gang left! As much as that dastardly fiend obsessed over Baby Yoda last year, it was no match for Herzog’s urge to go make Grizzly Man 2.And so it came to pass that in one fell swoop, the showrunners connected The Mandalorian to the worst ideas of the prequel and sequel trilogies.
Yessir, for once, things are finally coming up Milhouse for Mando and the Child.
But not so fast.
It turns out, there’s a little bit of the Empire left on Nevarro, and they’re holed up on the side of a volcano, full of guns and ships and somesuch. So Carl Weathers has a proposition for Mando: ♫ Yo, let’s steal their cannons.
And so Mando goes off with Dune and Weathers. And also the Fish Guy joined them. (The Fish Guy! Don’t question it, who cares!)
But here’s the important thing. By the end, they blow up the base and they learn it’s not really a base at all. It’s a lab. A spooky lab.
After accessing a conveniently placed expositional hologram, our heroes finally learn why the Empire wanted the Child in the first place. The bad guys conducted all manner of unmentionable experiments with clones and Sith magic, and they needed Baby Yoda’s midi-chlorian-rich blood because unless you get blood that’s teeming with the Force, you can’t create any Snoke clones, and you’ll probably never resurrect Emperor Palpatine either.
And so it came to pass that in one fell swoop, the showrunners connected The Mandalorian to the worst ideas of the prequel and sequel trilogies. But hey, we’ve got eight episodes to fill this season, and they can’t all be winners.
And that’s about all I have to say about this one.
So now that we’re halfway through this season, let’s recap where things stand.
Mando has finally learned the location of the Jedi, and that’s where he’s taking the Child. Ahsoka Tano will be there, and it will be a good development for the show and for the fans. We love to see it. Eventually.
Bo-Katan Kryze is on her way to stealing the dark saber back from Empire Gus Fring. By her continued presence in the show, Mando will learn the true ways of Mandalore. He’ll renounce the Children of the Watch and shed the pharisaical teachings with which he was raised, prompting a flood of pitches in the Christ & Pop Culture inbox, all with the subject line, What The Mandalorian Can Teach Us about Deconstructing Evangelicalism.
Baby Yoda is maturing. Have you noticed this? He’s pulling his weight now, helping Mando with chores around the Razor Crest, plugging wires into their proper place. He’s talking more too. And maybe I’m reading a bit into that classroom scene when Baby Yoda steals that kid’s macaroon, but it sure seems like the Child is finally learning the Force now.
Think about it. Up to this point, the Child’s Force ability was instinctual—a fight or flight reaction to danger. But now, he’s using the Force to fulfill his own desires. That’s a new, different thing than what we’ve seen before.
I mentioned a couple weeks ago how everything is fragile in this story, and the Empire is no exception. It’s a shell of its former self after the events of The Return of the Jedi. But they’re rebuilding.
Are we to believe that Gus Fring is the guy in charge now? It sure seems like it. The man is busy. He’s off stealing dark sabers and building clones and creating a Dark Trooper army. Either way, weak as the Empire is during this period in time, it’s worth remembering that we already know what the Empire eventually becomes after this: the First Order. And so, whatever Gus is up to, we can safely bet he’ll succeed.
Lastly, Boba Fett is, we assume, still standing in the desert with his mean face on, just like he’s been doing for the last 37 years.
Either way, I like that The Mandalorian is appointment television in the Poppe house right now. I like that every Friday night for the last month, I order some Domino’s Pizza, and then I curl up on the couch with my wife and our two youngest kids, and we all watch a brand new Star War together.
That’s something special, and even when Lucasfilm makes a stinker, they can never ever take that away from me.